After the bracket for the 2013 men’s division I lacrosse championship was announced on Monday, it is clear that the image of college lacrosse has changed and it does not seem like things will be the same. This can be attributed to the rising popularity of lacrosse as it is starting to leave hotbeds like Long Island, and is gaining more and more momentum as it spreads westward.
This year’s championship bracket consists of teams who did not even have lacrosse programs only a few short years ago. Denver (4) has been a huge powerhouse in the west the last couple of years. Having one of the first college programs in the region, they have had success with the help of top players like Mark Matthews. However, Denver always seemed to stand alone in the west with little contention from anyone else. Now this year we also have Detroit and Ohio State (3) added into the mix. Many would not count these as western programs, but this shows the impact these teams have despite the sport only expanding such little distance. Ohio State made a big statement that they were here to make something of themselves after winning the ECAC Tournament. Detroit, who went 5 and 9 in the regular season, but ended up winning the MAAC tournament, hope to prove they can hold there own against powerhouse Notre Dame (2).
With the addition of these new teams, we can start to see that some dynasties are starting to crumble with the added competition. Most notable, Johns Hopkins University did not receive a spot in the tournament. This was the first time in 41 years the Blue Jays have not made a run for the championship. This makes you wonder who will be the next team to fall and who will be next to rise. Teams like Georgetown who were big players have now fallen by the wayside in recent years, and many upcoming teams are competing hard to be the next National Champions.
Within the next two years, the NCAA is scheduled to add about twenty new programs of all divisions. Many of these teams are coming from more western and southern regions of the country and are not all just from the East Coast. This means that maybe within another five years, Johns Hopkins will not be the only dynasty to fall to the new wave of college lacrosse.